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NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat

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A representation of cellphone location data.

The U.S. National Security Agency is warning military and intelligence community staff of threats to national security from cellphone location tracking.


The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has released new guidance for military and intelligence community staff, warning of threats to national security from cellphone location tracking.

Cellphone applications often collect and share anonymized location data with third-party brokers, who sell their products to government and corporate customers, usually without user awareness.

Other services can deduce phone location through proximity to other Bluetooth devices or Wi-Fi networks; intelligence officials are concerned that harvesting of such data by a foreign power could potentially compromise national security.

The NSA recommends disablement of location-sharing services on mobile devices, granting minimal permissions, and deactivating advertising permissions.

Also recommended is limiting mobile Web browsing, adjusting browser options to disallow location data use, and turning off settings to track a missing phone.

From The Wall Street Journal
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